Distance Learning Fake Degrees - Bogus Online College Degrees

Many bogus distance learning schools are very adept at masquerading as legitimate organizations. As true as this was in the old days, the advent of the Internet has not only given them a new route to peddle their goods, but it has spawned a whole new breed of them.

It seems that every day we are confronted with some new way that these unscrupulous crooks have devised to separate honest folks from their money. Identity theft, phishing schemes -- the list goes on and on.

Now we have a whole new generation of people who are shucking out their hard earned money for worthless diplomas or certificates. The scam artists know how to make their pitch convincing and how to post a very legitimate looking web site. Unfortunately, they are doing all this within the scope of the law. It is up to you the consumer to know how to spot the fakes. Keep reading to get savvy on doing just that.

Don't Forget That This Is Marketing

It’s important that you verify everything that you read. It doesn’t matter where you heard of the distance learning school -- through an infomercial, an ad in the newspaper, or from a browser search; what you are getting is a sales pitch. It’s sales copy, pure and simple. They are enticing you to take the next step, which is usually furnishing them with your name, phone number, email address, etc. They spend a lot of money to get you to do this and they are very successful at it. Keep your guard up.

This can’t be stressed strongly enough: verify that they are accredited by a legitimate accreditation organization, one of the regional big six. Be specifically aware that the Distance Education and Training Council is not an accreditation institution well respected by employers. They exist solely for the purpose of making the fakes look legitimate. Although they may claim to be accredited by one of the big six, this does not necessarily mean their accreditation status is current.

Remember the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The scams will typically make claims that are unrealistic. The phrase "accelerated program" raises a red flag. Their price is a giveaway as well; legitimate programs are expensive.

Be Sure the Phone Number and Address are Legitimate

A legitimate online institution must occupy a good deal of office space from which to conduct its business. It takes physical space to prepare the study materials, house instructor’s offices and so on. This implies that the online institution must have a physical address, not simply a post office box. Like any other respectable business, you expect the online institution to have at least one phone number to take your call and a separate fax line. If you call during regular business hours and reach an answering machine, your best bet is to hang up and cross the online institution off your list.

Do Your Homework on the Distance Learning Company

Find out from an independent source how many years a distance learning institution has been in business. Verify all the instructor’s credentials. Beware if a distance learning school claims to offer credits for "real life experience" in lieu of classroom training. This indicates that they are selling diplomas and not education. The Better Business Bureau is your best friend. The BBB can tell you if there are any claims against the company. Unless there are many claims, this alone should not rule them out. But how those claims were resolved is the important factor.

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